Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Power through the Spirit

I found this text, which is an example of what it is like receiving the power of the Spirit:

1 Thessalonians 1:4-6

Power through the Spirit: -- "The best way I can explain how the Christian worker, in complete contact with Christ, is a power to save souls, is by the following example. Take a common bar of iron, and first bending it into the shape of a horseshoe, apply it to a battery. The stream of magnetism flows through it, and by this power it is enabled to hold, even though there be suspended from it extremely heavy weights. As long as the iron is in contact with the battery, so long does the power endure; but the moment the connection is broken the power ceases, the weights fall, and the magnet becomes only a piece of iron. Similarly the Christian worker, in immediate contact with Christ, has His Spirit flowing through him, and this Spirit is the power, and by it we are enabled to do great works for Christ: but the moment we lose touch of Christ, that moment is our power gone, and we become, for God's purpose, a mere worthless piece of clay.
(from The Biblical Illustrator Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2006 Ages Software, Inc. and Biblesoft, Inc.)

Isn't it great! To me, it basically says that we should always be in contact with Christ (not sometimes!) I know I am very bad at this, because I tend to want to speak to Christ at my convenience...But when I am not 'connected to Him, or speaking to Him', where am I?
Loss of Spirit, Loss of power of the Holy Spirit?
And then just a worthless 'christian' with no power or use! And this is what Christ did not want us to become.

My thoughts on verse 8 are that we shouldn't have to always talk to people about Christianity and how 'good and rewarding' it is and that we have eternal life and that we are 'good people'.
Others should be able to see that in us and in our works, and often, people will start to wonder what has changed or why you are so happy or content or HUMBLE!

Let us ask ourselves seriously and honestly, "What sort of a show would I make after all, if the people around me knew my heart and all my secret thoughts?" What sort of a show then do I already make in the sight of Almighty God, who sees every man exactly as he is? But take comfort also, and recollect however little you and I may know, God knows; He knows Himself and you and me and all things; and His mercy is over all His works.

Bless you all!
Reading: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Thessalonians+1&version=NLT

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Prayer and Commitment

Pauls advice here was for us to continue in prayer for others and to keep our eye open for any and all oppurtunities that come accross our path on a daily basis.
But we need to pray to God to bring us those opputunities. Now I would imagine that this wouldmean praying for others either silently, or if the situation arises, pray with them.
I have found so rewarding. It is extremely difficult at first and I pray to God to drop those barriers of fear that I have, but once they are gone, I love praying for others (in the workplace, at home, in the shops etc).
In verse 4:3, It says we need to ask God to open up a door, to allow us to pray for others. God will most certainly act on this, but then this would require you, as well, to keep your 'spiritual' eyes and earsopen to pick up oppurtunities, listen to people talk...

Do they have anything that may need prayer?
Do they know of someone that is in hospital?
Are they having a bad day?
Are they sad?
Do they need encouragement for something?

Also by keeping your spiritual eyes and ears open, it allows God to speak to you and He can let you know what He wants you to do.
Paul also calls us to have conversations with people about christianity. Let your conversations not only be Holy, but also full of grace, always wise and always intelligent. Recommend christianity where you can, because thats what we were called to do.

Bless you all

Question: What difficulties/fears do you have when it comes to telling others about Christ?

Reading: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=col%204:2-6&version=NLT

I often readthese articles on the Jericho Walls site and have found them extremely helpful, here is the link:   http://www.jwipn.com/articles.asp

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Relationship Instructions

Shoo, now this is just a great set of instructions, but again, I really struggle to keep to them. I am sure that I am not alone and many people struggle with this reading. In a nutshell:
  • Husbands should love their wives
  • Wives should respect their husbands
  • Children should obey their parents
  • People that are working, should obey their 'bosses' and work to the best of their ability
What really struck me here is the verse 22, where it says that we should always obey our masters (bosses). I have always said to myself that the only master I have is God, but I think what Jesus means here is that we must get into the habit of obeying our bosses and serve them like it would be serving God. (.....and the master you are serving is Christ).
This is difficult, because I know that our bosses are just people like us and they don't deserve any more respect than as  I would respect and trust in the Lord. I don't quite understand this because there is no way that I can 'serve' them like I do the Lord, because they are mere mortals.

But you know what, one day we will be changed from servants to sons. Sons of God, and we would then "be in the habit" of serving and obeying. Also I don't think it means serving them and putting them higher than the Lord, but serving in reverence of Lord.
Our final payday (inheritance) will come from the Lord.

I am not sure I quite get this, but I think I need to pray about it seriously and ask God to reveal it to me.

God Bless.

Question: What is your understanding of this reading?

Reading: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Col%203:18-25&version=NLT

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Living like Christ

This chapter has got to be one of the best in the Bible. To me it answers some of the most important questions that I have:
  • How do we live like Christ
  • What makes God angry and what should we be living like?
  • How do we not think about earthly things?
To me, its very easy to say I am going to put to bed all sinful things in my life, but that would be lying to myself and God. I mean, is it really possible?
What also scares me is that the sinful things listed here are things that I have done and are still doing in my life.
Anger, Rage, Malicious Behaviour, Slander, Dirty Language. No hope for me i guess !

But you know what, God knows this. He knows that we are tempted every minute of the day to act these sinful deeds, to me, what he is asking here is for us to get away from them. We are not going to be able to stop them immediately, because that's human nature, but if we trust in God and allow Him in our life to change that, He Will! Looking at this then, it just makes me wonder how much I have actually 'let' God in my life as a christian.

God wants to to be humble, patient, kind to others and have mercy on others. I personally find it extremely difficult to forgive others that offend me, but in Verse 13 its says that we have to.

I don't know, all of this has to be done with Gods help. We cannot accomplish this on our own. We are sinning humans and the grace of God is there to help us and lead us into a new direction, slowly changing our life for the better.

Bless You All

Question: How many of these sinful deeds have you done in your life, have you been able to stop any of them or lessen how many times you act upon them...With our without Gods help?

Reading: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Col%203:1-17&version=NLT

Additional Thought: Circumcision doesn't matter (Col 3:13)

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Life in Christ

When we get baptised, it says in this reading that our sins were nailed to the cross and that our sins died a death then, just like Jesus died.
After baptism, we enter into a new life, a spiritual life which entails a very close relationship with god, just like Jesus did when He rose to heaven after 3 days.
The whole subject of baptism is interesting because many people I spoke to didn't believe in it or said it was unnecessary,but if I read here...This is something that needs to happen in every christian life!
I don't want my past sins and charges against my name stuck with me forever. And I did some serious stuff before I was baptised, but at least I know that those thoughts cannot hound me forever, as they have been "chucked" away and forgotten by God.

But that's the past, the future is what I am looking forward to. No person or 'spiritual influence' is going to get in the way between God and me or is going to divert my attention on a New Life in Jesus Christ.

Receiving Jesus Christ is believing in His name and believing that He is the everlasting and ONLY God and that He dies for us and our sins.

Walking with Jesus involves physical activity, not just belief or being passive. It has to be an active belief that means that we don't sit back and expect God to do good things and change our life, but it means that we need to actively get out there, worship His name, spread His name to others and obey Him as our Lord.

Remember, walking means going in one direction and having a single goal to get there...it doesn't mean walking in circles.

Question: Which ways do you find it difficult to life the Christian life? Have You prayed about them?

12 ways to live a Christian lifehttp://www.fbbc.com/messages/howtolive.htm

Reading: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Col%202:6-23&version=NLT

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Do we work for Christ?

When I read this verse this morning, It really made me think alot.
Here is a person, Paul, who has clearly dedicated His life to tell others about the good news of Jesus, of eternal life with Him and His mighty power from within, and Paul is sitting in prison!
I ask the question, would I do that?

In Luke 10, Jesus tells His disciples to GO OUT and tell others about the good news of Jesus. But this wasn't just for His disciples, its for all of us. We all need to go out and spread the Word of God, disciple to those who don't know Jesus.
Jesus says in Luke 10:16 "Anyone who accepts your message is also accepting me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting me", so you don't really have to worry about how people are going to react..this is between them and Jesus. Your are just a messenger/disciple for Jesus to tell others, Jesus will do the rest of the work.
Sounds so easy, but is it?

Paul tells us about some of the good things that Jesus has to offer us...Paul took it upon himself to really spread the Word of God (even given his situation), and I believe we were called to do the same. I don't do this, I admit, and that's fine....because there is always a future and I don't have to look at what I have done in the past because through the grace of God, we are forgiven for our past sins.

How difficult would you or have you found doing what Paul is doing in this verse (Telling others about the good news)?

Reading: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Colossians%202:1-4&version=NLT

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Christ is Supreme

Has anyone ever seen God? According to the bible in Exodus 33:20 when Moses asked God to see His face, He said that no person would ever see His face and live. Scary thought! But then how did God actually show himself to people in the bible throughout the old and new testament?

In the Old testament, it is said that God appeared in Theophanies (appearances of God):
  • Burning bush
  • Dreams and Visions
  • As an Angel
  • Through a thunderstorm
  • Fire smoke and thunder on Mt Sinai
In the new testament, Many people believe that God took on human flesh through His son Jesus Christ.
I found this all very confusing until I read here in Colossians where it says that Jesus was always "around". He existed before anything else. Everything was created through Jesus for Jesus.
Jesus was around even before creation. There are some arguments that say that in the old testament that the voice of God was actually that of Jesus although I am not sure about that.
When Jesus came to earth in 'flesh' form and died that terrible death, He shed His blood for our sins.This took me back to the Old testament to see what happened to people that sinned at that time and heres the comparison:
  • In the Old testament, animals for scarificed and their blood was used to temporarily cover up these sins until the Messaih came in the New testament.
  • In the new testament, Jesus shed His blood for our sins. Read Hebrews 9:12 (Neither by the blood of goats or calves, but by His own blood.........)
God has given us a new life through the death of His son and through His grace, allows to ask for forgiveness for our sins. Arent we lucky? The sad thing is, there are so many people that just cant get to grips with this.

What do you think with the quote that "some people say that God took on the flesh through His son Jesus Christ"?

Read:  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Colossians%201:15-23&version=NLT

New Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=td4omid6qrQ

Bless You all!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Colossians 1:3-14

Sometimes i just wonder if i thank God enough like Paul does in this letter to the Colossians.
I know i thank Him everyday when i pray, but then often i have the thought afterwards, did I thank Him in the right way and did i say everything that i should have or have I missed something?
I mean, He sent His only son Jesus Christ to suffer for me and you, He died a brutal death, He literally had meat and bones open for everyone to see...
If it wasnt for this, we would be dead to sin, stuck in this world with no hope, only the love of money, wealth and greed...but after that???
I dunno, i just always think about this when I have to thank God for stuff...

Heres a few reasons in this bit of text that I think We can thank God for:
-Verse 13 says He rescued us from the one who rules the kingdom of darkness
-Verse 14 - He purchased our freedom with His blood and had forgiven all our sins
-Verse 12 - We can share in the inheritance given only to Gods Holy people

Do we try thank God for everything that we have everyday, do we thank Him for things we remember? What are your thoughts?

The Reading...